National WBC Coordinator
Kia ora koutou! I am the national coordinator for the Whitebait Connection programme and trustee of its founding trust the Mountains to Sea Conservation trust. I've been involved in environmental education since 2003 and my favourite part of the job is being out in the environment - natures classroom! I'm also an experienced coordinator of WBC's sister programme, Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR), and co-founder of the Whangarei Drains To Harbour stormwater awareness campaign and Mangrove Discovery Programme. I am a graduate of Environmental Management, Conservation, Business Administration and Computing and was lucky enough to study in Northland where I lived and worked with my husband Blair and kids Zayne and Oceana, until 2014 when we moved to Warkworth, Auckland by the Mahurangi River for four years. We moved back to Whangarei in 2018 and are now working at a regional level in both Northland and Auckland as well as supporting the national delivery and growth.
Phone: (09) 434 0289 or 027 243 4818
Northland Regional WBC Coordinator
I joined the WBC team in 2016 and am passionate about sharing the intrinsic values of Northland’s indigenous biodiversity and outdoors. My diverse background includes working on a dairy farm, in the navy and as a Project Manager for Waiora Northland Water with Northland Regional Council. This has helped me gain well established Northland local knowledge, community relationships and a depth of understanding of the Whitebait Connection mission. I have a degree in Environmental Science, a Management Diploma, and fifteen years of project and resource management experience. I’m also a member of the Project Management Institute (Whangārei Chapter) and a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP). This wide range of skills and experience is proving to be a blessing for working in this role.
Phone: 027 600 4237
Northland WBC Coordinator
Soozee has been a WBC coordinator since 2011. She was based and working solely in the Far North until 2013 when she became based in Whangarei and now delivers WBC all around Northland. Soozee has a lot of experience working with community in the field of environmental advocacy and is very passionate and knowledgeable about growing plants and riparian planting. She has recently also become a part-time tutor at NorthTec.
Northland Hokianga WBC Coordinator
Ko Whangape te wahapū,
Ko Rotokakahi te awa,
Ko Ongaro te maunga,
Ko Morehu te marae,
Ko Te Uri o Tai te hapu,
Ko Te Rarawa te iwi,
Ko Jasmine Pirini tāku ingoa.
Kia ora, my name is Jasmine Pirini I come from a beautiful isolated and rural place called Pawarenga located in the North Hokianga, in Northland.
I joined the Whitebait Connection (WBC) team in 2012 and my role is Co-ordinator for the Warawara Catchment area. I am supported also by the Kaitaia Department of Conservation office and my goal is to continue to raise awareness of fresh water quality within the local communities who have been involved in the programme.
Phone: 09 409 5508
WBC Northland Coordinator
Kia ora , ko Jordie MacDonald toku ingoa. I joined the WBC team in 2017. I grew up in the Marlborough Sounds and studied a Bachelor of Biological Sciences majoring in Marine Biology at Victoria university of Wellington. Since then I have been involved in a few exciting projects such as the Humpback whale survey in the Cook Straight, volunteering for EMR and conservation work with the Auckland Council as a park ranger.
Phone: 027 354 8745
WBC Northland Coordinator
I joined the Whitebait Connection in 2017 and am really looking forward to engaging people of all ages in freshwater conservation! I hold a bachelor's degree in landscape ecology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Science and have always had a fascination for freshwater as well as the marine environment. I have also worked in the nursery industry and am passionate about native plants and environmental restoration, so I am hoping to get people in involved in community planting days to improve the waterways in Whangarei and its beautiful surroundings.
Phone: 022 321 2818
North Auckland WBC Coordinator
I specialise in environmental education, water quality monitoring, and environmental action projects including litter clean-ups, restoration planting and public awareness events. I have 9 years experience working in this field in New Zealand.
Phone: 021 180 7348
North Auckland Programme Coordinator
Kia ora my name is Sophie, I started volunteering and assisting for WBC in April 2017 and have just begun as a lead coordinator based in Auckland. I studied biological science at the University of Auckland, which inspired me to pursue a career in ecological conservation. I am involved in many conservation projects around Auckland and am extremely passionate about protecting the Hauraki Gulf’s marine life. I am a qualified snorkel instructor and rescue diver and love helping kids gain confidence in the water.
Phone: 021 064 5125
Gisborne WBC Regional Coordinator
Murray has been a WBC coordinator since 2005 and runs the delivery via his non-profit trust Te Mahi Te Taiao. He also manages the delivery of WBC's sister programme EMR in Gisborne, under his organisation and has many other partnerships and work streams including the National Coordinator for the GLOBE project.
Phone: 021 177 1926 / 06 868 7133
Gisborne WBC Project Manager
Amy has just completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with a double major in marketing and management. She has a background in business but holds a strong passion for working alongside children. Amy has been working for Nga Mahi Te Taiao part time since 2012 and has now started working full time as manager of the education prgorammes.
This work enables Amy to grow her passion and commitment for educating children and the wider community about environmental conservation and engaging individuals towards sustainable development.
Wellington WBC Programme Regional Coordinator
Kia ora. I have been involved with the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust's work since 8 years. Ex-dive instructor (Kaikoura and Samoa), gained my marine and coastal science degree from Australia, then worked in environmental policy for several years in NZ and the US. I became involved in EMR whilst retraining as a teacher and coordinated in Wellington for a couple of years before going full time in the classroom. Missed it too much, so came back onboard in 2014 and took on delivery of the Whitebait Connection as well. I now manage the team in Wellington and, with the team, have created a wide range of services and connections within our community.
Phone: 021 707 881
Wellington WBC Programme Coordinator
Kia ora my name is Liz, 2015 was my first year as a WBC coordinator based in Wellington. I am completing my Masters in Marine Conservation and a BSC in Zoology. My other passion is music.
Wellington WBC Programme Coordinator
I am very excited to be working as a Whitebait Connection Coordinator with the Mountains to Sea Wellington team. I have had a passion for the outdoors from a young age and decided to become a Marine Biologist when I was 8 years old. I have a Masters in Marine Conservation and love being able to pass on my knowledge and enthusiasm to students, teachers, parents and the general public. In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, especially being involved in marine and freshwater related activities.
Phone: 027 258 2925
Canterbury WBC Coordinator
Since 2016, Kirsty Brennan has been delivering the Whitebait Connection in Canterbury under the regional umbrella organisation EOS Ecology. This includes delivery of the Whitebait Connection ‘Environment Investigators’ Programme, which links in with the Whaka Inaka project. Kirsty loves the water and takes every opportunity to be amongst it whether it be surfing, skiing or snorkeling.
Kirsty has a background in Environmental Science and has over 10 years working in this field in Australia and New Zealand. Kirsty is an experienced communicator of science and can explain scientific concepts to a wide range of audiences, including presenting at scientific conferences, community events/meetings and to school-age children. Kirsty is the lead Canterbury Whitebait Connection Coordinator, implementing Whitebait Connection programmes in 2016 and 2017 and has established relationships across more than 20 schools in Christchurch through her passion and engaging delivery. In 2016, Kirsty was responsible for providing science engagement to 1800 school students from 3 to 15 years to increase awareness and knowledge about their local freshwater waterways. The programmes provided opportunities for the students to present at council meetings expressing their concern for their waterways and encouraging improved management. Kirsty is always looking to provide opportunities to connect kids with science and with projects that contribute to real-life science outputs and action on the ground.
Canterbury WBC Coordinator
Shelley was trained as a WBC coordinator in 2016 but has extensive experience in the aquatic fields of science and is a trusted advisor for the local and regional authorities on these m
atters. Shelley is a Director and the Principal Scientist at EOS Ecology; the umbrella organisation for WBC Canterbury. She loves to spend lots of time outside either wading in streams looking under rocks, tramping in our great outdoors, or photographing our amazing wildlife and landscapes.
Shelley McMurtrie is an Aquatic Ecology Scientist with almost two decades of research and industry experience studying aquatic (freshwater and estuary) ecosystems, including fish and invertebrate communities. In addition to managing the EOS science team, her expertise has led to her involvement as the ecology lead in key waterway restoration programmes, leadership of long-term monitoring programmes and ecological investigations, and authorship and editing of key guiding documents for the restoration and management of urban waterways.
Committed not only to taking science into the world’s wild places but also to communicating science to the wider public, Shelley successfully coordinated the largest multidisiplinary expedition to our remote Campbell Island (www.campbellisland.org.nz) and the development of the first ever taxonomic identification keys for the island’s aquatic invertebrates (http://ciinvertkey.com/). More recently she has led the Whaka Inaka programme, she has also developed monitoring programmes for community groups and led the creation of a freshwater invertebrate identification chart suitable for use by community and schools.
Shelley’s enthusiasm combined with in-depth knowledge of freshwater ecosystems gets kids completely engaged with the wonderful world of our fresh waters.
Canterbury WBC Coordinator
Nick Hempston became a WBC coordinator in 2017 and brings over 10 years of practical field experience and a heap of knowledge about bugs. Nick gets outdoors at any chance he has - mountain biking, kayaking or skiing.
For the past seven years, Nick has lead EOS Ecology’s field programmes and is extremely knowledgeable in taxonomic identification of invertebrate fauna. Nick’s previous experience teaching biology and shore ecology with school groups makes him well equipped to deliver WBC programmes. With Nick’s passion for invertebrate taxonomy and extensive experience identifying animals from freshwater, estuary and terrestrial environments, he is the perfect addition to the team and can answer almost any question thrown his way – it will be a challenge for the kids to try and stump him!